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47 by Walter Mosley47

By Walter Mosley

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History; Social Studies: African American Heritage: Adventure: Science Fiction

Grades: 7 & Up


Educator Guide

Number 47, a fourteen-year-old slave boy growing up underthe watchful eye of a brutal master in 1832, meets the mysterious TallJohn, who introduces him to a magical science and also teaches him the meaning of freedom.




ALA/YALSA Best Books for Young Adults


★”Equal parts history and tall tale, this engaging story related by an endearing narrator is so full of dramatic tension that few readers will realize they’re learning something, too.” – Publishers Weekly


“Walter Mosley is a force to be reckoned with in this lifetime and those to come. His infinite imagination makes this incredible reading.” – Black Issues Book Review


“A stirring story of escape from slavery in which [science fiction] and African American myth blend with the realism of plantation brutality and the courage of resistance.” – Booklist


“Thrilling on many levels, the books voices, sacrifices, climatic battles, and satisfying escapes will dazzle and provoke readers.” – The Horn Book